Facebook Inc. (FB), the social-networking company that held an initial public offering last month, introduced an online directory for downloadable apps, taking a page from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG)
The service, called App Center, debuts with 600 applications, including Zynga Inc. (ZNGA)’s “Draw Something” game and Pinterest Inc.’s online bulletin board, Menlo Park, California- based Facebook said yesterday in a blog posting and a press conference in San Francisco.
“The App Center gives you personalized recommendations, and lets you browse the apps your friends use,” Facebook said in the blog. “It only lists high-quality apps, based on feedback from people who use the app.”
Facebook, seeking to attract more software developers, is looking for new ways for users to find and access applications through its service. Apps, which let users do everything from play games to listen to music, encourage consumers to stay on a site longer and thereby help marketers more easily target them with advertising.
With the new service, users call up a directory of software options by tapping a button within a mobile Facebook application. When users find an app they like, they’re sent to the Apple or Google store to download the software.
The service also is available when users are signed on to Facebook’s desktop version, letting members send the application to their mobile devices. App Center was introduced in the U.S. yesterday and be available elsewhere in the coming weeks, Facebook said.
Facebook climbed 3 percent to $27.10 at the close in New York. Facebook has declined 29 percent since it started trading at $38 on May 18.
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